FRANKLIN, February 21, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
Two persons, perfectly reliable, whom I sent to Suffolk Monday and who remained there several days, satisfy me that former reports exaggerated the re-enforcements in Suffolk. The whole force there does not exceed 15,000. They are enrolling and organizing the negroes.
Nothing is revealed of the enemy's designs at Newport News. The force visible from this side is not very large, apparently 15,000 or 20,000. Citizens say a portion negro recruits.
ROGER A. PRYOR,
ADJT. AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 44.
Richmond, Va., February 21, 1863.
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XXI. Major General G. E. Pickett, Provisional Army of the Confederate States, will report without delay to Lieutenant General J. Longstreet, commanding Department of Virginia and North Carolina.
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By command of the Secretary of War:
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., February 22, 1863.
General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: I inclose a telegram* General Pryor, which gives the latest intelligence I have of the numbers of the enemy concentrating at Newport News and Suffolk. It agrees substantially with the reports I have from scouts sent to the vicinity of Old Point by General Elzey and from an intelligent officer just exchanged, who had been allowed to recover from his wounds, received at Sharpsburg, in Baltimore, and on his return was detained some days at Fort Monroe. He says as far as he could collect about 25,000 men had been sent to Newport News, and in addition some 2,000 or 3,000 were sent up the York River to Yorktown and Gloucester Point. They gave out (it is said by our scouts, not by the officer) that they are going to Charleston and expect to be commanded by General Burnside. the officer could learn nothing of their designs, but from unmistakable manifestations is satisfied great dissatisfaction and demoralization prevail and that they extend to many officers as well as to the men. He represents the feeling of our friends in Maryland as increasing in confidence and those of the Unionists as sinking into despondency. The prospects North are certainly encouraging and may lead to decisive results unless we sustain several reverses in the next few months. I have no late intelligence of movements from Wilmington or Charleston. I still expect an attack in great force on Charleston, but cannot understand the causes of delay in making it. Some controversy about rank between the commanders may
*Probably that of February 21.